HP opens storage product floodgates

HP opens storage product floodgates

Hewlett-Packard opened its StorageWorks conference in Las Vegas Monday with the company's largest release of new storage products and services in its history.

During the opening keynote address, Ann Livermore, executive vice president for the technology sales group, said the new storage products and services are responding to three major shifts in the information technology industry.

The first is the move to digital content. "All content is going to be digital," said Livermore. "That is true at work, at school and at home," she said.

The second major shift is the embedding of technology in all aspects of daily life, Livermore said. "When that technology is embedded, we want it to be easy to use," she said.

The third major shift is the fact that the technology landscape is more heterogeneous than in the past, she said. "Because of that, we want to make sure these things work together," she said.

Among the new products HP will be a major refresh of its Enterprise Virtual Arrays (EVAs) and the company's first venture into the enterprise Network Attached Storage domain with the HP StorageWorks Enterprise File Services (EFS) Clustered Gateway.

Among the other products HP will introduce will be the HP StorageWorks Enterprise File Services WAN Accelerator that will speed up storage for branch office applications, the HP StorageWorks 6000 Virtual Library System to improve backup and recovery performance, and the HP StorageWorks Enterprise Modular Library E-series that expands HP's enterprise library products. The company also announced the

Information Lifecycle Management Services Framework, a set of storage consulting, support, and management services and Fast Recovery Solutionsfor database environments.

While HP's first venture into the network-attached storage (NAS) space garnered most of the attention, less cutting-edge technologies, such as tape, also received some attention.

The company's new HP StorageWorks Enterprise Modular Library E-series expands HP's enterprise library family and pairs with the company's EVA line of servers as the backup component. The new StorageWorks 6000 Virtual Library System uses software from Sepaton to improve backup speeds and recovery performance.

Speaking about the virtual tape backup product, Bob Wilson, vice president of HP's near line storage division, said "It's for SAN-based backup. Disk-to-disk backup can be quite complex, but I believe we've worked out a lot of the issues in this product. The VLS dramatically improves backup and recovery performance by automating and virtualizing the configuration and maintenance of shared storage systems. It reduces the complexity and that, in turn, increases the manageability."

The HP StorageWorks 6000 VLS is designed to integrate into existing backup applications and scales in both capacity and performance, said Wilson. "This allows customers to manage all HP enterprise tape libraries and virtual library systems when used with HP StorageWorks Command View Tape Library Software," he said. The system also works with other popular backup software, such as Veritas and Legato.

The VLS emulates popular tape libraries and tape drives, matching the existing data protection environment, removing the need to change backup software or monitoring policies, said Wilson. "By emulating multiple tape drives simultaneously, more backup jobs can be done in parallel resulting in reduced backup times. At the same time, restore jobs happen quickly because the data remains on disk. That eliminates time consuming tape movement and mounting time issues," he said.

The entry level VLS, the VLS6105, has a capacity that ranges from 2.5TB to 5TB and includes two 2Gb Fibre Channel ports. It is priced starting at US$29,103. The higher capacity VLS6510 ranges from 5TB to 10TB and includes four 2Gb FC ports. It is priced starting at US$57,194. Both will be available June 14.

Other new products introduced by HP include a new Fast Recovery Solution for the recovery of Microsoft Exchange databases in minutes by creating copies of production Exchange databases. The FRS XP starts at US$6,150 and the FRS EVA starts at US$4,150. Both will be available in June.

For branch offices, HP has introduced the HP StorageWorks Enterprise File Services (EFS) WAN Accelerators, new appliances that can increase the performance of branch office file sharing, Web, and e-mail traffic. Base on HP ProLiant hardware, the appliance optimizes all appliances running on TCP over wide area network (WAN) connections to create LAN-like throughput over the WAN. HP officials say the product removes repetitive traffic and reduces latency effects to speed WAN performance. An entry-level system, the DL320-510 WAN Accelerator, starts at US$11,168. The systems will ship later this month.

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